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RIM announces LTE enabled 4G PlayBook

RIM will release an LTE enabled PlayBook tablet on 9 August

Struggling Canadian handset vendor RIM has announced an LTE enabled version of its PlayBook tablet. The device will go on sale from 9th August in Canada, and will work on the LTE networks of all three local operators, Telus, Bell and Rogers.

This is the first PlayBook to feature integrated cellular networking, with the first version limited to wifi only.

However, as with the latest iPad, the LTE function will not operate outside Canada and the USA as its LTE frequencies are limited to 700MHz and 1700MHz, rather than the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600GHz frequencies used in Australia and Europe.

The new PlayBook featuers an upgraded processor now running at 1.5GHz and will only be available with 32GB of memory, but other than this and the addition of the LTE modem the specs remain the same.

Pricing for the LTE PlayBook has not yet been announced.

RIM will be hoping that the LTE PlayBook will bring with it a reversal of fortunes, with losses on RIM’s hardware sales contributing to poor recent first-quarter results that were a 33 per cent decline over the previous quarter. Its Blackberry 10 operating system for its smartphones will also not be ready until the first quarter of 2013.

The LTE Asia 2012 conference is taking place on the 18-19 September 2012 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Click here to register your interest. – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion

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